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New trail highlights Black history across southern Old Town

A group of Black Alexandrians at Jones Point in 1897 (image via Alexandria Black History Museum)

A new trail is launching in Alexandria next month that highlights Black history across southern Old Town.

The new South Trail Route is an extension of the African American Waterfront Heritage Trails’ North Trail Route that launched in 2021. Together, both trails run from Montgomery Street to the southern tip of Jones Point Park.

The South Trail Route weaves along the waterfront and tells a range of stories from Black history in Alexandria, from a neighborhood named “Hayti” in honor of the island’s revolution to historic churches around town.

There are 19 stops along the South Trail route. There are 11 stops on the North Trail route.

The Office of Historic Alexandria and the African American Heritage Trail Committee are hosting an open house in the Lyceum (201 S. Washington Street) early next month. The event will bring pieces of the stops across the trail to the Lyceum.

The open house is scheduled for 10 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Feb. 4. The event is free, but registration is requested

“Each stop highlights the importance of Black history in Alexandria, what archaeological and historical research and reveal about the past, and the impacts of community history initiatives like this one,” the event’s website said. “Prominent and lesser known stories of African American people, places, and neighborhoods from the time of Alexandria’s founding through the 20th century will be featured.”

Trail information is available online or through the StoryMap app.

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